Checking In At Rudding Park Hotel & Spa, Harrogate
When I'm planning my travels, my mind automatically jumps to destinations further afield. I start googling flights to European cities or thinking about all of the corners of the UK I haven't yet had chance to visit. What I never do, however, is think about the wonderful places that are right here on my doorstep in Yorkshire. Which is a bit daft really, considering it's widely considered to be one of the most beautiful areas in the UK, and there are still tonnes of places that I haven't managed to visit in the 9 years I've been living here. And with fab hotels like Rudding Park just around the corner, there really isn't a need to travel for miles to enjoy a little bit of luxury.
Set on the outskirts of Harrogate, Rudding Park hotel is a real jewel in the Yorkshire crown. It boasts 90 rooms, a gorgeous spa, two restaurants, a kitchen garden, a cinema, a golf course and 300 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens, and is very easy to get to from either Leeds or York.
We popped across after work last Thursday for a little staycation and we had such a wonderful time that I just had to share it with you all...
Checking in at Rudding Park Hotel & Spa, Harrogate
We stayed in one of the beautiful spa rooms and I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was absolutely HUGE. We had a giant cloud like bed, a beautiful armchair, a spacious desk area and a lovely little terrace too. Everything was decorated beautifully, and we even had a pillow menu for ultimate comfort - how cool is that?!
The absolute highlight though was the bathroom. Not only did we have a gigantic roll top bath (complete with TV in the wall, naturally), but we also had our very own personal steam room. Safe to say we were feeling pretty bloody lucky. All of the toiletries were Molton Brown which I loved - little touches like that really do make a stay feel that little bit more luxurious.
Staying in such a beautiful room allowed us to really relax during our short time at Rudding Park - Sam and I both slept like babies, and relaxing in the bath while watching Gogglebox and enjoying an Aperol Spritz from the hotel bar made me feel like an absolute princess.
One of the main draws of Rudding Park hotel is their incredible spa. It has recently undergone a £9.5 million renovation and as a result has been recognised as the Best New Spa in the UK by the Good Spa Guide 2017. I had no idea what to expect before I arrived, but I was absolutely blown away by the facilities on offer.
My first experience of the spa was on Thursday evening. I was booked in for a hot stone deep muscle tissue melt in the treatment area and it was absolutely divine. The massage itself was just what I needed to switch off after a busy and chaotic couple of weeks (I was practically floating by the time I left the massage table!) and the staff were all so lovely and friendly.
Sam and I also donned our robes and slippers and popped back to the spa the following morning, making the most of the rooftop hydrotherapy infinity pool, the garden cabin sauna and the spa bath. There were so many different facilities on offer that you could easily make a day of it here even without booking in for a treatment - I'm already plotting how I can come back with my Mum and sister for a spa day!
Dining at Horto
While our beautiful room and epic spa experiences were wonderful, both Sam and I agreed that the highlight of our stay at Rudding Park was our meal at Horto. The restaurant itself is absolutely gorgeous - think plush velvet furniture, an intimate setting and plenty of candlelight.
The service was impeccable and from the moment we arrived we felt really well looked after. Our waiter explained that they had two different tasting menus on offer that evening - we opted for the 6 course menu and also decided to enjoy the drinks pairing with it too. Each course was explained to us in great detail and the sommeliers told us a lot about the wine and why it had been selected to accompany the dish. The chef himself even came out for a chat at one point!
Service aside though, it really was the food that stole the show. Sam and I can both be a little bit fussy, particularly where seafood is concerned, but we thoroughly enjoyed every single thing that we ate. The flavours were balanced perfectly and we got to try some things that we hadn't eaten before, such as mutton and caviar. By the end of the meal we were full, happy and just a little bit tipsy.
The atmosphere of Horto really completes the experience - it's intimate and relaxed, friendly in a way that other restaurants of a similar calibre often aren't. I know that we'll be back in the future - it's such a special place for a bit of a fancy treat meal.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Rudding Park Hotel & Spa. I can't think of anywhere better to enjoy a little luxury break - they really have thought of everything, and the incredible food and spa facilities are on par with what you'd expect from fancy hotels in New York or London.
I feel so proud and very lucky that this place is right on our doorstep - I know it won't be long until we're back!
*Our stay at Rudding Park Hotel was complimentary in exchange for an honest review, but as always, these opinions are my own. We had an incredible time and I would be more than happy to spend my hard earned cash here!